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Yoga/Strength: 10 Week Arm Balance Challenge

OrphiaOrphia Member Posts: 7,056 Member Member Posts: 7,056 Member
Can you do a plank for 1 minute? Can you do some push-ups? Then you can do this.

http://www.welcometotheonepercent.com/zuzkalight-10-week-arm-balance-challenge/

There are 10 weeks, with 10 instruction videos.

The ultimate goal is to be able to do a handstand, with lots of cool stuff on the way.

Week 1: Crow Pose



I've started practicing already, so here's a pic of my Crow Pose.

2D3E4349-F7DD-48D9-942A-927243E65153_zpstjnzzvwh.png

I'm really excited about learning more arm balance poses, and developing my strength, balance, and handstands.

The other weeks are:

Week 2: Side Crow

Week 3: Flying Pigeon

Week 4: Firefly

Week 5: Eight Angle Pose

Week 6: Handstand

Week 7: Handstand part 2

Week 8: Bridge

Week 9: Handstand further away from wall

Week 10: How to bail out of a handstand



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Replies

  • usmcmpusmcmp Member, Premium Posts: 21,292 Member Member, Premium Posts: 21,292 Member
    I'm in! I can't do the Crow pose (ironic since that's my last name), but I will do my best to practice each of the poses.
  • robininflrobininfl Member Posts: 1,137 Member Member Posts: 1,137 Member
    I'm in. I can do crow and bridge, but those weeks 3,4, and 5 look very ambitious, those are more difficult than handstand in my view. I will work the crow this week and weekend.

    Handstand is one of my 2017 goals in any case, so yay!
  • OrphiaOrphia Member Posts: 7,056 Member Member Posts: 7,056 Member
    @usmcmp and @robininfl Yay! I'm very happy you're joining me!
  • OrphiaOrphia Member Posts: 7,056 Member Member Posts: 7,056 Member
    I found these great tips for Crow Pose.



    https://www.doyouyoga.com/5-tips-for-crow-pose-with-video/

    QUOTE:

    1. Set up the foundation.

    The hands are essentially the foundation of Crow pose. If you have them too far apart or too close together, you’re building upon something that’s potentially quite unstable.

    Hands should be shoulder distance apart, with the weight distributed evenly across the whole palm, including the five finger pads. While it’s common to dump most of the weight into the heel of the hand, doing so can lead to unhappy wrists.

    By setting up a decent foundation, you can start to build a more stable pose from the base up.

    2. Get the knees as high up the arms as possible.

    You want to get the body low so you can glue your knees as high up your upper arms as possible. If you’re tight in the hips, you’ll possibly find it challenging to get down low enough for the knee or upper arm connection.

    If this is you, you can try using a block under your feet. The extra height the block gives you can help the knees reach higher up the arms. It also helps you wave your tail feather up in the air, which you need to do once the knees and arms are connected.

    I like to start with my feet together (obviously knees wide), though some people find it easier to start with their feet wider. If you’re a wide-feet-Crow yogi, then you’ll need a couple of blocks.

    3. Draw in first, then lift up.

    This was an important cue for me. I was so fixated on wanting to lift off that I wasn’t recruiting the muscles I needed to actually get up there.

    So the knees are pressing in to the upper arms. The inner thighs are active and drawing intowards each other. The elbows are drawing in, not flapping out to the side. The triceps are firming in to the midline.

    The act of drawing everything in should naturally encourage an upward lift.

    4. Shift the weight forward.

    This can be the scary part for a lot of people. If the mind is fearful of falling, it will do whatever it can to hold you back. So firstly, set the intention with your eyes by taking your gaze out in front of your hands. Then reinforce the message that you’ve got this.

    Remember, if you’re scared of falling forward, then put a couple of cushions or blankets down in front to make a soft landing pad, which can help relax the mind around the idea of face planting. Another thing—keep elbows over heel of the hand. This goes hand in hand with shifting the weight forward.

    For me, it all clicked into place when I focused on my elbows. I’d been practicing with my elbows flapping out to the side like chicken wings. This was creating instability, and therefore standing in my way of lifting up.

    Once I realised that I needed to bring the elbows in and forward over the heel of the hand (like in Chaturanga or Four-Limbed Staff Pose), I felt stronger and way more solid in the pose.

    5. Upper back is rounded, not flat.

    The upper back should be rounded, which ignites some really important muscles that help with balance and poise. This point can be the difference between you flying for a few seconds, and holding the pose for longer.

    To round through the upper back, press your hands in to the mat as though you’re pushing the mat away from you. I like to imagine I’m puffing up a little in the centre of the upper back.

    As well as physical alignment cues, it’s really important to 1) Breathe, and 2) Get the mind working for you. So let go of any un-serving thoughts like “I can’t” or “I’m scared,” and instead visualise yourself gracefully and effortlessly holding the pose. You CAN do it, and you will!

    END QUOTE.

    Good luck!
  • OrphiaOrphia Member Posts: 7,056 Member Member Posts: 7,056 Member
    Who's been practicing?

    Practice helps - I can hold Crow Pose for 1 minute now.

  • OrphiaOrphia Member Posts: 7,056 Member Member Posts: 7,056 Member
    Week 2

    Side Crow.

    IMG_0423_zpspkzfwarh.jpg

    I think I'm doing it too upright.
  • OrphiaOrphia Member Posts: 7,056 Member Member Posts: 7,056 Member
    Getting better at Side Crow.

    269F408F-4352-4525-83B1-05214178AEEE_zpsrjfrmq4s.jpeg


  • OrphiaOrphia Member Posts: 7,056 Member Member Posts: 7,056 Member
    Week 3.

    Flying Pigeon.

    First attempt:

    3DD3625C-D8AF-4D0D-A610-6B1729276BAA_zps80ginvw0.jpeg
  • rsamuelsgoldrsamuelsgold Member Posts: 391 Member Member Posts: 391 Member
  • OrphiaOrphia Member Posts: 7,056 Member Member Posts: 7,056 Member
    I'm in

    @rsamuelsgold Yay! Happy to have you on board!
  • OrphiaOrphia Member Posts: 7,056 Member Member Posts: 7,056 Member
    Week 3, Flying Pigeon, last day:

    B3B0F9C4-4040-4001-B8D2-22A6588F0CB6_zps8cy6plgx.jpg

    Managed to get my back leg higher in the evening.

    Tried Flying Pigeon again today, and it was harder for some reason. I'm not showing you the bloopers! :smiley:




    Week 4, Firefly Pose. I like this pose.

    E92C9524-E89D-4C78-A3DA-398C8D568E4E_zpsywd1z4ii.jpeg
    edited February 2017
  • OrphiaOrphia Member Posts: 7,056 Member Member Posts: 7,056 Member
    @usmcmp
    @robininfl
    @rsamuelsgold

    How are you going with the challenge?
  • OrphiaOrphia Member Posts: 7,056 Member Member Posts: 7,056 Member
    Finished Week 4, Firefly pose, with being able to put my legs higher.

    E2F59D75-6186-42CC-9441-1497EC0DFB23_zpsixdqqi5i.jpg



    Week 5 begins, with my first try at Eight Angle Pose:

    BE181D10-D1EE-43F2-B1CF-C241600B3B55_zps6kvrdokk.jpg

    Fairly confident about the challenge so far.

    I'm going to focus on my headstands this week, I think. I can hold a headstand for a long time.

    I've started trying to move my legs back and forward while in a headstand, to simulate being up in a handstand. Takes a lot of work on the arms and core!!
  • OrphiaOrphia Member Posts: 7,056 Member Member Posts: 7,056 Member
    Headstand practice

  • OrphiaOrphia Member Posts: 7,056 Member Member Posts: 7,056 Member
    More headstand practice. (Practicing moving while in a headstand to approximate handstand movement.)

  • OrphiaOrphia Member Posts: 7,056 Member Member Posts: 7,056 Member
    Handstand practice.



    Doing well, but it could take years to hold a handstand as long as I'd like.

    Not sure when I'll consider this a success at this point. :)
  • OrphiaOrphia Member Posts: 7,056 Member Member Posts: 7,056 Member
    Held it for longer!

  • AndreaOmYogaAndreaOmYoga Member Posts: 15 Member Member Posts: 15 Member
    Awesome titibhasana, handstand and crow etc! Well done!
  • OrphiaOrphia Member Posts: 7,056 Member Member Posts: 7,056 Member
    Thanks @AndreaOmYoga

    Love your profile pic!
  • tdbernrdtdbernrd Member Posts: 598 Member Member Posts: 598 Member
    @Orphia Awesome! I wish I could do one of those poses.
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